American Home Shield
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American Home Shield is a great choice if you’re searching for a home warranty, which covers some repairs to appliances and systems in your home. A range of flexible plans and a large network of repair technicians increase the odds that the repair you need will be covered by your contract — and completed in a timely manner.
A major benefit to American Home Shield is their highly customizable policies, as well as the company’s longevity – leading to over 2 million customers receiving more than $2 billion paid in warranty claims over the last five years. Homeowners can certainly trust American Home Shield to protect the appliances and various home systems that we all depend on.
American Home Shield Service Overview
Plans Available: Appliances, Home Systems, Build Your Own Plans and other Combo options
Pricing: Varies by location and plan type but general monthly costs range between $39.99 – $59.99
Length of Contracts: 1 Year is standard
National Coverage: 49 States
Service Fees: $75 – $125
- 30-Day Guarantee
- No Home Inspection required
What is Good About These Policies?
American Home Shield offers four plans — a Systems plan, an Appliance Plan, a Combo plan, and a Build Your Own plan. Over the phone, representatives will work with you to customize your policy during the quote process. For instance, one of our testers’ homes didn’t have air conditioning, so the rep removed that from coverage to lower her rate. When speaking with reps via online chat and phone, we found them polite and helpful across the board.
No home inspection required
Unlike many providers, AHS does not require home inspections before signing off on your warranty. Some providers use these inspections as a chance to omit older appliances from your contract (read: things more likely to break).
Choose your service fee
When you set up your plan, you have the ability to choose a service call fee of $75, $100, or $125. This is the one-off cost you’ll need to pay, along with a small convenience fee, if you need to request a service tech. Higher service fees will lower your monthly premium: Testers who chose a $100 service call fee saved $9 per month over the lower $75 fee. If you have relatively new appliances and aren’t expecting multiple catastrophes to strike per year, we’d suggest opting for a higher service fee.
How To Get Started
You have four options to choose from when you sign up: the Appliances Plan (your water heater), the Systems Plan (your plumbing system), the Combo Plan (a combination of the Appliances and Systems plans), or the Build Your Own Plan (which allows you to select the items you want covered yourself). You also have the option to backdate coverage to the date you purchased your home, depending on how soon after you apply for American Home Shield coverage. This level of customization is unusual within the industry and allows you to pay for only the coverage you need.
It’s important to note that the home warranty industry as a whole suffers from extremely low customer satisfaction. This dissatisfaction often stems from vague contracts, denied repairs, and disagreements over the quality of repairs that are completed. We found that American Home Shield does a better job than other major providers at keeping fine print to a minimum, but it’s still important to read your contract carefully before signing.
How to Get the Best Service: Things to consider
For an AHS home warranty to provide you the peace of mind and financial benefits it promises, there are three things you need to do:
- Choose coverage that you actually need. The option to build a plan is unusual within the industry, and it ensures that you’re not paying for a package that includes coverage for things you might not want or need. Because of this flexibility, the odds are much better that your AHS policy will cover the things you actually want covered.
- Don’t do anything that will nullify your policy. Home warranties, including those from AHS, take certain decisions away from the consumer. Calling in your own repair guy (even just for an inspection), attempting to do maintenance yourself, or jerry-rigging an appliance for a different use will negate coverage. Failing to perform maintenance as specified by your appliance’s user manual or manufacturer can also negate coverage.
- Understand what’s excluded. American Home Shield’s contracts are more clear and generous than most, but all home warranty contracts come with serious caveats when it comes to when your warranty can be applied. An example: Your plumbing system might be covered, but this usually doesn’t include bathtubs, sinks, or showers.
The Final Call:
Only you can decide if an American Home Shield warranty makes sense for your home. Consider the age and value of your home systems and appliances, do the math to figure out how much you’d be set back if some of your larger items failed, and measure if the potential savings are worth the exchange of freedoms and limitations that come with any home warranty. Then spend some time quote-surfing. AHS is a strong contender based on its customizable plans and helpful customer service, but getting quotes from multiple companies ensures that you’re getting the cheapest premium for the coverage you need.
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Home Warranty of America
Home Warranty of America
Home Warranty of America